What Is Slipcue?
"All Substance, No Style"
Our motto. This reflects my quaintly outdated interest in using the internet as a way to simply provide information, as well as the primitive level of technical skill I am able to apply to the job. True to the old-fashioned 'zine ethos, Slipcue has been consciously designed to be as low-tech as possible, partly to make it easy to navigate, and also because designing complex HTML programming seems like more hassle than it's worth.
Framing the argument more negatively, when I personally surf the web I have found that I generally don't enjoy visiting most of the more elaborately-structured webpages... I think these sites are often designed more to interest the programmers who design them, than to serve the people who might visit them. Years ago, when I was looking for information about music and artists that interest me, I frequently ran into slow, hard-to-navigate websites, most of which had more advertising space than intellectual content. It was a drag. But rather than just complain about it, I decided to make the kind of website that I was looking for to begin with, and I offer it to like-minded folks, free of charge. Whoo-hoo.
About My Reviews -- It's Not Rocket Science
Here, too, I like to keep things simple. I learned to review records working at a community-based public radio station, where you had to keep your comments short enough to fit on a 1"x 3" sticker, which was then placed on the CD booklet (3"x4" for LPs). After about ten years of that format, I began to regard the longwinded, pseudo-intellectual reviews in Spin and No Depression with what could politely be called suspicion. I mean, really, what more do you need to tell people about a record other than what kind of music it is, who made it, and why you do or don't like it? The intellectual history of postmodern artistic expression is not also a requirement. Nor are copies of the Oxford English Dictionary or Roget's Thesaurus.
(I will admit that in the past few years my "simple" reviews have become lengthier and more pretentious. Partly this is because I've been recycling material from print reviews which ran elsewhere, and editors in the real world have forced me to write something more complex than "Ace Bunny Killer!" or "Dude, this rocks!!" However, I don't think that these longer reviews necessarily indicate that I have anything more intelligent to say...)
Sure, But Why Is Your Site So Difficult To Navigate?
Is it really? I guess I hadn't noticed...
Actually, the site is intentionally designed not to be completely transparent. Personally, whenever I go to a site that has everything it has to offer laid out on a grid or menu, I tend to look at one or two things, size the site up, and then go somewhere else on the Web. I think our little primate brains like to figure out how things work more than just research specific information, and with a site as large as Slipcue, the likelihood that an internet surfer would tackle the whole site (if they knew what they were getting into!) seems pretty slim...
Anyway, I want Slipcue to be sort of an odd browsing experience, like a dusty neighborhood book shop or used record store where you just keep finding odd, intriguing things in unexpected places... The idea is for the site to be more experiential than self-explanatory. Plus, I don't want it to look overly cluttered or overwhelming, which I think would happen if the whole site was laid out in the open... Instead, each page includes some interesting pathway that will lead, in turn, to another diversion...ad infinitum... It's sort of like the La Sagrada Familia of website design...
If you know of any websites that may be of interest to Slipcue's readers, please feel free to e-mail me and let me know -- I love steering people towards sites that I like, and most Slipcue pages have a links section at the bottom. I reserve the right to set links based on my own snooty intellectual or aesthetic criteria.
As I mentioned above, Slipcue.Com is a noncommercial website. (Uh... sort of... ) It's a labor of love, not a business proposition -- difficult, perhaps, for some people to understand in a society that worships money as its highest god, but hey -- that's the way it is, so get over it. Yes, some of the site's links lead to record labels, and also to select retailers and mail order companies, but these sites are chosen solely for their unique ability to help readers find or learn more about the music and books that I recommend. I do not welcome propositions for "partnerships", advertising or other money-making ideas, and I will report spam e-mail to service providers.
When Will This Site Be Updated?
Constantly! I mainly just keep adding reviews to various sections as the mood hits me, but there is a lot of new content being added all the time. I go on a "kick" of some kind, and bam! there are thirty new bluegrass reviews, or whatever... For a while, I was updating a "what's new?" page to keep track of it all, but then I lost interest in that, since just building the website seemed like a lot more fun than keeping track of the changes.
On a Lighter Side:
Well, that's probably enough of the "specs" on Slipcue. Hopefully my gruff exterior hasn't dissuaded you from looking further into the site; I'm actually not such a bad guy, once I've had my coffee. And really, I have all kinds of fun, light-hearted stuff for you to look at, such as the Slipcue Obituary Section, and some day I may even get around to writing about my embarrassing lifelong interest in comic books. There's also a "Fun Page" which includes the secrets of CyberSmell, and political humor that seems to irritate money-loving Republicans. (Sorry, fellas... I live in Berkeley for a reason....)
Anyway, thanks for coming, enjoy your stay... and remember to write me around the holidays.